10/20/18

Skyroam Solis Review

4 out of 5 stars. 2 out of 5 stars.

So the Skyroam Solis has two different data plans available:

Option A: $9/day “unlimited”. First ~350MB of transfer is fast 4G, but then they drop you to 2G so it feels like dial-up after a while
Option B: $9/GB. Always 4G speeds- no performance penalty, but you pay for what you use.
Continue reading

03/19/17

ESP-DSC Works Not Well!

So yesterday I was all happy that I got my prototype ESP-DSC working. This ended up being short lived as I realized this morning that while it does technically work, the ESP8266 can’t keep up with two medium resolution (2,500 CPR) encoders.

Ironically, I found out that the code was too slow when I started to optimize the code and I realized that the code I has was very very conservative. My original optimization was to speed it up, but maintain that conservative ethos. I figured while I was editing the code, I might as well also add a test to see if the ESP-12F was dropping interrupts… Continue reading

03/16/17

New low cost digital setting circles: ESP-DSC

So a few years ago, I announced TeensyDSC, project that brings telescope digital setting circles to the iPad and Android devices using WiFi. I’ve been using my TeensyDSC successfully with my telescope and SkySafari on an iPad for a few years, but one thing always bothered me about it: the “COGS” (cost of goods sold) of the TeensyDSC was really expensive: nearly $100. A lot of that cost was in two parts: the Teensy 3.1 ($20) and RN-XV WiFi module ($35).
Continue reading

03/15/17

Should you switch from EaglePCB to KiCad?

So I’ve been using EaglePCB for a number of years. I’ve designed and created some open source projects like my SV650 ECU Decoder and TeensyDSC. While I had a cheap ($79) commercial license for a one off commercial project I did, most of my work was done using the $169 “Maker” version for non-commercial use.

Then mid-2016, Eagle was bought by AutoDesk. I’ve only used one AutoDesk product before: Fusion360 which I really like. Sure, it’s not as good as SolidWorks, but I’ve designed parts for both CNC and 3D printing and they’ve come out great. And to top it off, AutoDesk is very gracious in it’s licensing terms- allowing makers like me to use it for free.

But recently Autodesk announced that EaglePCB was moving from perpetual licensing to subscription based. Simply put, this was not well received.
Continue reading

03/14/17

Reverse engineering the SV650 SDS Protocol

So spent a bunch of the time in the garage this weekend working on reverse engineering the SDS protocol on the SV650. SDS is basically ISO9141 aka K-Line which something you often see in a car’s ODB-II port. Unfortunately, SDS is just different enough that you can’t use any commercial off the shelf ODB-II reader to read the messages. The way I have been going about this was pretty painful and taking a lot of time/effort to iterate over so I came up with a new tool chain.
Continue reading

02/3/17

Analyzing Your Data with Race Studio 2

As racers, we’re always looking for an advantage over the competition- better brakes, exhaust, motor work, titanium bolts to reduce unsprung weight- you name it. With the advent of modern electronics, now data logging and analysis is becoming available for not just pro-racers, but club racers as well.

Most data loggers talk about how awesome their hardware is… see how sleek and sexy it looks? It has all kinds of features like GPS and accelerometers which are sampling at many times a second. Just imagine how much data you’ll collect! So then you install the data logger on your bike and you can’t wait until you can go out on track and try it out. Everything is great! Until…
Continue reading

05/20/16

Decoding the SDS protocol on the SV650

So long story short, I replaced my old GPX Pro with an AiM MXL2 dash. One of the nice things is that the dash supports the Suzuki SDS protocol for the GSXR. SDS is sorta like ODBII for cars- if you’ve ever heard of a “K-Line”, well that is pretty much SDS. Long story short, the MXL2 dash can decode some of the sensors (TPS for example) but others are pretty far off (water temp).

I reached out to AiM to see if they could fix it, but they didn’t have the information necessary to fix their decoding of the messages. They suggested reaching out to Suzuki to get the specs, but I don’t know anyone there and nobody I know seems to know anyone there…

Long story short, I’m going to reverse engineer it myself.
Continue reading

01/30/16

Using AiM speed sensors for alarms with Arduino

So if you’ve been reading my blog, you know I created a SV650 ECU Decoder which decodes the data stream from the ECU that normally would go to the OEM dash. Recently I upgraded from the GPX Pro to the more powerful and physically bigger AiM MXL2.

So here’s the problem- the new dash is bigger which means I’m having a harder time finding a visible mounting point for my ECU decoder. And while the MXL2 can decode things like water temp, TPS and gear position from the ECU, it can’t decode any EFI warning codes. I didn’t like the prospect of not knowing when the bike was misbehaving due to a bad sensor or damaged wiring harness so I needed to come up with a solution. Continue reading